The importance of stability and cohesion in a society cannot be

gainsaid as far as the growth and development of the society is
concerned. This is especially considering the variations of attitudes,
beliefs, likes and preferences of individuals in the contemporary human
society. Indeed, increased globalization has ensured that people with
different attitudes, beliefs and values share an environment and
interact more with each other (Bollinger 22). The peace and stability of
such a group or society depends on the willingness of the members to
accept the beliefs and behaviors of other people irrespective of their
variations to their own. This is essentially what tolerance is all
about. However, tolerance, like any other aspect of the society is
essentially a dynamic concept whose levels and forms are bound to change
(Castiglione and Catriona 45). Questions, therefore, emerge on how
tolerance the society is today. While there may be differing opinions,
it is evident that the current society is significantly more tolerant
today than in the past.
First, there have been changes in the acceptance of people who seem a
bit different from the dominant group especially in the world of
politics. This is especially with regard to the participation of
minority groups in politics (Cartasev 34). A case in point is the
occupancy of elective posts by individuals from groups that are far from
being dominant, as is the case for the United States black president
Barrack Obama, as well as other individuals from minority groups such as
Spaniards and Mexicans. This could signal at increased tolerance
especially considering that, not too long ago, the United States and the
world at large could never have imagined that there was a possibility of
such a thing happening as these minority groups were seen as
considerably challenged in terms of intellectual aptitude.
On the same note, the society has become more tolerant of disparate
ideas pertaining to things that were in the past seen as abhorrent. This
is especially with regard to issues such as drug and even modes of
dressing. In some societies such as Jamaica, the consumption of
marijuana is seen as a normal occurrence with individuals openly taking
the herb. Unfortunately, this is not the case in the United States
especially considering that individuals, in a large number of states
could be jailed and even have immense fines slapped on them simply for
being found in possession of marijuana and other herbs (Castiglione and
Catriona 34). Nevertheless, recent times have seen an increased
acceptance of this herb in a large number of states, with legislations
being made to allow the consumption of the same (Bollinger 45). This is
also the case with modes of dressing, where young generations have been
seen as dressing in ways upon which individuals would have frown in the
However, there may be some areas where the society is yet to become
tolerant. This is especially with regard to religion, more so after the
September 11 attacks, where Islam and Muslims in general are seen as
violent individuals who propagate radical ideas in the society. For a
large number of people, it is difficult to even envisage sharing rooms,
houses or apartments with Muslims, thanks to this stereotypes (Cartasev
42). This, nevertheless, does not spell doom on tolerance levels, rather
it is a single aspect that was triggered by a tragic event in the past.
Works Cited
Bollinger, Lee C. The Tolerant Society: Free Speech and Extremist Speech
in America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986. Print.
Cartasev, Sergei. One World: Teaching Tolerance and Participation. New
York: International Debate Education Association, 2006. Print
Castiglione, Dario, and Catriona McKinnon. The Culture of Toleration in
Diverse Societies: Reasonable Tolerance. Manchester: Manchester
University Press, 2003. Print.